Request for Information relating to the Mental Health Act for my 'Campaign of Change'

Desmond Last made this Freedom of Information request to Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

The request was refused by Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

From: Desmond Last

Delivered

Dear Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet,

I am campaigning to make urgent and necessary changes to the Mental Health Acts in both the U.K and Australia. The changes I seek to make will ensure that the rights of the Individual are maintained during any action taken by the use of the Mental Health Act to their person and/or mind as a conscious process.

1. Could you let me know how many persons and in what age groups, gender and sexuality have been subjected to Electroconvulsive therapy for the period 2007-2017?

2. Could you let me know what are the Federal Guidelines for the application of the Mental Health Acts by State when used by their relevant Police Forces.

3. Could you let me know what authority and training the Australian Federal Police have and have had when making an assessment about a person Mental Health that could be passed onto for example the U.K's Counter Terrorism Branch SO15?

4. Could you let me know how many random checks of Mental Health Facilities are carried out by the Federal Government per year?

Yours faithfully,

Desmond Last

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From: FOI
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet


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UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr Last

 

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request of 10 December 2017.

 

In order to take the initial steps in assessing your inquiry, we seek
clarification for items 2 to 4 please.

 

Item 2- Could you let me know what are the Federal Guidelines for the
application of the Mental Health [MH] Acts by State when used by their
relevant Police Forces.

•             Please specify a specific timeframe for the Federal
Guidelines concerning the application of MH Acts by State police forces?

•             Please confirm that you wish to limit your request to the
States and you are not seeking documents concerning territory legislation
and police practices as well?

 

Item 3- Could you let me know what authority and training the Australian
Federal Police [AFP] have and have had when making an assessment about a
person Mental Health that could be passed onto for example the U.K's
Counter Terrorism Branch SO15?

•             Do you intend this request to be any documents held by the
Department about the authorisation of the AFP under State legislation to
assess a person's mental health? You may wish to make this part of your
request into two separate elements.

•             For example, you could make the second element of the
request to be for any documents held by the Department about the training
that the AFP receives in order to assess a person's mental health under
state legislation.

·                You will need to specify a time period for documents held
by the department for any training the AFP has had (in the past) for
making assessments of a person’s MH under tate legislation.

 

Item 4 – Could you let me know how many random checks of Mental Health
Facilities are carried out by the Federal Government per year?

•             You will need to specify the period of time for which you
are seeking the information about checks of Mental Health Facilities.

•             Please tell us what you mean by mental health facilities in
your request.

 

I note that you have asked questions of the Department that may be best
directed to other agencies the Department may seek to transfer those
requests to those other agencies. Instead, you may wish to withdraw this
request and make requests to the Australian Institute of Health and
Welfare may be better placed to assist you in relation to questions 1 and
4, and the Australian Federal Police in response to questions 2 and 3.

 

We will not be able to start processing your request until this
clarification is provided, so we seek your response by Thursday 14
December, please.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Claire Pitham | Senior Adviser

Access and Administrative Review Section | Legal Policy Branch

Government Division | Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

e. [1][email address] | w. [2]www.pmc.gov.au

One National Circuit Barton ACT 2600 | PO Box 6500 CANBERRA ACT 2600

 

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From: Desmond Last

Delivered

Dear FOI,

Thankyou for your response.

Item 2- Could you let me know what are the Federal Guidelines for the
application of the Mental Health [MH] Acts by State when used by their
relevant Police Forces.

• Please specify a specific timeframe for the Federal
Guidelines concerning the application of MH Acts by State police forces?

• Please confirm that you wish to limit your request to the
States and you are not seeking documents concerning territory legislation
and police practices as well?

In response to your request for clarification. I am seeking to clarify what the legal position is of the Federal Government in ensuring that Australia's International Human Rights commitments are. For example when a State Police decide to submit a person for a Mental Health Assessment based on their behaviour what training are they given in order to comply with Human Rights Legislation and how do the Federal Government oversee that training?

Item 3- Could you let me know what authority and training the Australian
Federal Police [AFP] have and have had when making an assessment about a
person Mental Health that could be passed onto for example the U.K's
Counter Terrorism Branch SO15?

• Do you intend this request to be any documents held by the
Department about the authorisation of the AFP under State legislation to
assess a person's mental health? You may wish to make this part of your
request into two separate elements.

• For example, you could make the second element of the
request to be for any documents held by the Department about the training
that the AFP receives in order to assess a person's mental health under
state legislation.

· You will need to specify a time period for documents held
by the department for any training the AFP has had (in the past) for
making assessments of a person’s MH under tate legislation.

In this question I am seeking to find out what training and instruction is given to the AFP to ensure that any information regarding a person's mental health is a) true and correct and b) does not prejudice their rights to 'freedom of expression'.

Item 4 – Could you let me know how many random checks of Mental Health
Facilities are carried out by the Federal Government per year?

I am concerned for those persons who are permanently and temporarily placed in care for an assessment based on their verbal and written actions rather than any actions that may physically harm a person or persons.

I also would like to know how many people have been subjected to electric shock therapy by all demographics.

The time periods I am seeking are for 2010 -2017.

Thankyou Desmond Last
• You will need to specify the period of time for which you
are seeking the information about checks of Mental Health Facilities.

• Please tell us what you mean by mental health facilities in
your request.

I note that you have asked questions of the Department that may be best
directed to other agencies the Department may seek to transfer those
requests to those other agencies. Instead, you may wish to withdraw this
request and make requests to the Australian Institute of Health and
Welfare may be better placed to assist you in relation to questions 1 and
4, and the Australian Federal Police in response to questions 2 and 3.

Yours sincerely,

Desmond Last

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From: FOI
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr Last

 

Thank you for your email.

 

The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) requires applicants to make
requests for documents, not information.  You are asking for general
information and your request is therefore not valid under the FOI Act.

 

I consider therefore, that no further action should be taken on your
request.

 

It is open to you to make a specific request for documents held by the
Australian Federal Police (AFP) to the AFP, and for requests to be made to
relevant state police forces under State access to information
legislation.

 

You may wish to contact the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
(AIHW) for information about mental health care in Australia, noting that
there is extensive information published by the AIHQ on its website -
[1]www.aihw.gov.au

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Claire Pitham | Senior Adviser

Access and Administrative Review Section | Legal Policy Branch

p: 6271 5849 | e. [email address]

Government Division | Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

w. www.pmc.gov.au

One National Circuit Barton ACT 2600 | PO Box 6500 CANBERRA ACT 2600

 

 

 

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